The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine congratulates Dr. Alison Woodworth on her election to President of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Academy beginning in August, 2021. The AACC Academy is a distinguished division of the AACC consisting of the academically and scientifically engaged members of the organization. The AACC Academy plays a central role in driving innovation in the field of clinical chemistry through the creation of clinical practice guidelines, expert opinion documents, and developing relevant curriculum for trainees. 

Dr. Woodworth’s was nominated by her peers for the presidency. Dr. Woodworth will serve for 3 years as President Elect (20/21), President (21/22), and Past-President, (22/23).  

As President of the AACC Academy, Dr. Woodworth will foster innovation in clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine. Many of these innovations will be adapted as clinical practice at the University of Kentucky (UK). Dr. Woodworth notes that she already sees her work in the AACC Academy transformed to practice at UK, for example, specifically assessing the clinical utility of procalcitonin testing in septic patients. This multi-disciplinary collaboration involving laboratory leadership, Pharmacy, and Infectious Disease utilized the AACC Academy document that Woodworth co-authored to inform new clinical practice. Along with directly impacting patient care, Dr. Woodworth’s leadership role within the AACC academy will allow her to showcase the excellent work that the UK laboratory performs. As AACC Academy President, Dr. Woodworth also intends to highlight the impactful role of clinical chemists and laboratory medicine as vital members of the patient care team.  

“This couldn’t be a more exciting time to be a clinical chemist!” says Dr. Woodworth. As insurance reimbursement models shift from fee-for-service to value added patient care, we will see a shift in the need for highly trained clinical laboratory professionals. Clinical chemists are trained not only to perform and interpret laboratory assays but also to guide best practice utility of laboratory tests in patient care. Clinical chemists thus comprise a unique group of professionals that comprehend both analytical chemistry and clinical medicine. One of the most important aspects of the clinical chemistry training process is learning how to communicate this expertise to both the laboratory team and clinical providers, bridging the gap between basic science and clinical practice. The ability to communicate knowledge, coordinate multidisciplinary clinical teams, and implement cutting edge technology solidifies the essential role of clinical chemists on clinical care teams.  

Dr. Woodworth’s favorite aspect of serving the AACC Academy is the opportunity to work with clinical chemists around the world, as learning and collaborating with pioneers in the field is an invaluable experience. Mentorship is another key aspect of serving the AACC Academy that Dr. Woodworth enjoys. Dr. Woodworth has mentored numerous clinical chemists and clnical pathologists over the years and is especially proud to have trained several successful women laboratorians. As the numbers of certified women in the field increase, so do the opportunities to serve as leaders. Dr. Woodworth is honored to represent women and all members of the clinical chemistry community as an AACC Academy Leader. The AACC Academy has only had 7 prior women presidents in its 45 years of existence.  

Dr. Woodworth attributes her successes to “so many amazing mentors” along the way. Her network in the AACC and the AACC Academy has allowed her many opportunities to collaborate and lead projects throughout her career. She looks forward to passing along the knowledge from her mentors to young clinical chemists. She steadfastly continues to promote the importance of clinical chemists as invaluable members of the clinical care team. 

Join us in congratulating Dr. Alison Woodworth!